Monday, September 30, 2013

Commissioners Corner - September 2013

September is coming to a close, football season is in full swing, some of the crops in the county are coming off the fields, and cool, crisp days are here. The unmistakable signs of fall are here. Fall is one of the best times is Darke County. Cooler days and nights make things like yard work, or any work outside much more tolerable. Darke County is also one of the prettiest places to be this time of year. The trees turning colors around the county make for a very pretty picture, so enjoy it, even though it means colder weather is approaching.

Things have been fairly active in the Commissioner’s office this month. We have had numerous meetings with county personnel and others getting ready for the end of the fiscal year. We had a very productive and informative meeting with the Sheriff’s office and others involved in criminal justice this month. Suggestions on how to combat the drug problem in the county were discussed, along with additional funding. The funding part will have to wait until later when appropriations take place because as of now, we really only have a faint idea as to how the county’s finances will be. Other meetings have involved renewing contracts, grant applications, property discussions, and maintenance issues.

The County has a myriad of work planned this fall for several of our buildings. The old Visitation house on Fifth Street has been painted, and looks much better. We painted it to conform to the way the building looked years ago, and to blend in better with downtown Greenville. Also getting some attention is the ditch maintenance Quonset hut which has needed painted for a while. The Control Terminal at the Darke County Airport is receiving some much needed new paint inside to the walls and the ceilings. We are also looking at modernizing some other things at the airport to make a better impression on those who fly in from other States, or counties. We are also looking at trimming some trees at the Garst Avenue Complex, and doing some concrete work at the Plaza on Wagner Avenue. In the Commissioner’s office, some new shelving is being added in two of our closets which will help in providing more space for storage. We are required to keep so much paperwork that it is becoming harder and harder to find storage space. Fortunately, some of the paperwork can be scanned and then destroyed which will take up less space.

Our department heads are working constantly to get old documents scanned, so in the future, we may have more space. Cindy Pike, our County Clerk, has a lot of things to scan and she is working on those documents, along with the Sheriff’s office and the Auditor’s office. 

Speaking of the Auditor’s office, the new Pictometry service is now operational. Pictometry gives a 4 sided view of all property in Darke County taken from an aerial viewpoint. This will help the Auditor to scan properties more quickly and will help our law enforcement and other emergency personnel. Fire Fighters for example can pull up a picture of the house that is on fire on their laptops on the way to the scene of the fire and will know if there is a garage or other buildings close, or propane or gas tank locations, or the best way to approach the fire, and where to set up their equipment. Thanks to Carol Ginn for adding this service to her office, and for the added benefit to others.

The Economic Development office continues to advance with projects and workforce development. The newest addition to the staff, Lisa Wendel, is working very hard on coordinating workforce issues with companies, schools, and Jobs and Family Services. The office also has several projects in the works, and although this is very good news, this puts more strain on the workforce we have available. Our workforce program is moving along very well, but we need to keep improving and expanding the effort for the future. As Darke County continues its growth, we must continue to provide our companies with qualified workers, and we will. When you see Lisa, thank her for her efforts, and welcome her to her new job.

As we move forward, new ideas, and questions, are always welcomed. Everyone is invited to come to a Commissioner’s meeting and give us your thoughts to help us make better decisions. We meet publicly every Monday and Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. in the Commissioner’s office located south of the Courthouse in downtown Greenville at 520 South Broadway. Hope to see you soon at one of our meetings!

The Darke County Commissioners

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